If you’re struggling to hear conversations, presentations or performances, the most effective thing you can do is meet with a hearing specialist. An expert can assess your hearing and make recommendations that meet your specific needs.
Many people with hearing loss assume that their only option is hearing aids, and that fixing your hearing is as simple as popping the device in your ear. It’s not quite that simple.
“Your ears aren’t the only thing helping you hear. Cognition is a big part of good hearing, and our brains are constantly making decisions about which sounds to focus on,” says Kim Galick, owner of Ears Hearing Clinic in Langley. “When my clients get new hearing aids, it often takes the brain a little while to get used to the new way sound is being captured and transmitted.”
In addition to hearing aid technology and devices, there are many aural rehabilitation exercises that can encourage brain stimulation and make it easier to follow speech. A hearing specialist can provide you with specific exercises for your needs.
- Train your brain to focus, locate and understand sounds: Try turning on music in a quiet room, and then walk around your house while listening. Take it a step further, and try to identify specific words and instruments.
- Read out loud: Read to yourself, to the cat or to a loved one. Your brain will be simultaneously speaking, hearing and seeing the words, and the exercise may help reinforce that information in the brain.
- Practice conversing in a noisy environment: Turn on the television at a low volume, and then try reading aloud or conversing with a friend. Your brain will have to decide whether to focus on your TV or your conversation, and over time you may get better at this skill. Then when you meet a friend at a noisy café, you’ll have plenty of practice!
Improving your hearing is part of overall healthcare, so taking care of your whole body is important to improve your general well-being. Finding quiet, whether through meditation, yoga or a morning walk, can help your whole body — including your ears.
“Preventing noise-induced hearing loss is important too. Protect your hearing with ear plugs if you’re using noisy lawn equipment, and turn down the volume on your headphones,” Kim says.
For a free hearing consultation, call Kim Galick at Ears Hearing Clinic, 604-427-2828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Find Ears Hearing at Unit C 20568 56 Ave. in Langley, online at earslangley.com and on Facebook.